a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And Not a Moment Too Soon - Week 14 College Football Picks

73-55-2
9-4

Just a Weekly Five this week as we end the regular season.  I will pick every bowl game.
Houston -2.5 ECarolina (loss)
West Virginia + 1.5 Rutgers (win)
Alabama +5.5 Florida (win)
UConn -7 SFlorida (loss)
Wisconsin -12.5 Hawaii (win)

Final Regular Season: 76-57-2
Final Locks: 9-4

You could do worse. 

I Pick Every NFL Game - Week 13

Overall: 86-88-2

I'm coming off my strongest week of the year and hoping to nudge my way into the black by year's end.  Fantasy wise, I'm in the playoff hunt in one league, Seattle deciding to split carries between Forsett and Jones is good for my real team (go Niners!) but probably means I sit Forsett for Jacobs, and that (along with the Roethlisberger/Flacco choice I have to make) puts me in a hard spot in a must win game. 

Jets -3 Bills (win)
Broncos -5 KC (win)
Steelers -14 Raiders (loss)
Jags over Texans (win)
Niners over Seahawks (loss)
Dolphins +6.5 Patriots (win)
Carolina -6.5 TB (win)
Bears -9 Rams (win)
Colts -7 Titans (win)
Bengals -13 Lions (loss)
Saints -9.5 Redskins (loss)
Falcons +5.5 Eagles (loss)
Chargers -13 Browns (loss)
NYG +2.5 Dallas (win)
Minn -6.5 Arizona (loss)
Pack -3 Ravens (win)

9-7
95-95-2

Athlete of the Decade - Tiger Woods



Runners-Up (1) Barry Bonds (2) Roger Federer (3) Peyton Manning (4) Lance Armstrong

The public, says this piece by a "senior writer" from SI, "will never look at Tiger Woods quite the same way," because he's lost his "image as a good guy."

Tiger Woods is no worse than the second greatest golfer who ever lived; his level of dominance makes him (in a close call over all of the runners-up, a good argument could be made for any of them) the Athlete of the Decade.  But apparently, that isn't enough accomplishment to maintain his image in the face of all that sex.

Unlike the chaste, one woman man who received SI's Sportsman of the Year Award just this week:

"It was that combination of on- and off-field achievement that helped make Jeter this year's Sportsman. Said Sports Illustrated Group Editor Terry McDonell, "Derek Jeter has always presented himself with class; he does numerous good works for the community with his Turn 2 Foundation, which is one of the most efficient, effective foundations of its kind; and he's extremely generous with not just his money but with his time, which in many cases is more valuable. He also had another signature year on the field."

Do a search for Derek Jeter's girlfriends.  It's no wonder the guy is a hundred fifty fielding runs below position for his career, dude's got better things to do with his hands. 

Other than Tiger's wife, it's unclear to me why a member of Sports Illustrated's "public" would view Tiger as no longer a "good guy" but Cap'n Jetes as "classy", but the things that bother others, I am aware, don't much concern me.   Tiger Woods's marriage doesn't belong to me.  The contours of his relationship with his wife are good gossipy entertainment; he gets sent through the same news cycle that spun Dave Letterman around earlier in the year, but the degree of their achievements dwarfs a momentary unflattering snapshot. 

I'm pretty confident in that.  Tiger has a lot of equity, and presumably, many more years on the stage; my assumption is that in most ways, this week becomes a footnote. 

Not for his wife.  But we aren't her. 

I've never cheated in a relationship, but, as Chris Rock said about ten years ago "men are only as faithful as their options."  And I don't have Tiger's options.  You give me all the money in the world and make me Athlete of the Decade, I'd hope I'd be able to keep my promises, but the experience of being Tiger Woods, of having that be your life in no way bears any resemblance to the experience of living my life; to say I wouldn't be frantically leaving voicemails to women from Tool Academy is entirely wishcasting. 

We used to understand this.   Men who have the ability to do so enjoy sex with multiple women.  If you don't know a married man who has had an affair you're being lied to.  I'm not saying it covers men in glory that we are this way, not saying it should be celebrated; I'm just saying it's so. 

One of my pet theories of longstanding is that Clinton was able to muster up so much visible anger in his finger pointing denial "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" because he was angry.  Not angry that he was being falsely accused - but angry because he was being accused at all.  My reading was that what he felt inside, what he could not say was "Wait...this is a thing?  This?  How many Presidents do you think didn't have sexual relations with some woman they weren't married to?  Not just US Presidents...Bank Presidents.  School Board Presidents.  Presidents of charitable organizations.  It ain't all - but it's more who do than don't."

I felt the same way about Barry Bonds, who grew up in clubhouses, who watched the legends of the 60s and 70s survive on all manner of amphetamine and pain killer and then joined the legends of the 80s, 90s, and this decade who added steroids to that diet.  "Of course I take drugs.  I've been taking drugs since junior high.  That's how this works.  You're children." 

If you're bothered that Tiger Woods didn't live up to a vow he made to a person who is not you, you know, okay, I guess.  But let's not pretend it makes him unique.  In fact, I think it more likely that, if people are bothered, it's by the common quality of it all.  It's not Tiger Woods and Marissa Miller; it's Tiger Woods and someone from the Rock of Love bus; it's Tiger Woods horny and stupid.  He's just like us.  He's Eldrick.

Because we don't want him to be just like us.  We loathe us.  He's one of the chosen people.  The rich, the famous, the people who matter to us.  Our royalty. Too good for our awful mortgages and crappy health care.  Too good for our stifling dead end corporate jobs, for our scary, alcoholic racist neighbors, too good to be just another one of the lies we're sold - God - Country - Tiger.  We know we're screwed.  Just marking time in our little, inconsequential lives, eating our ice cream and watching CSI, working 7 days a week with no possible hope of escaping the fate of dropping dead one day at our desk.  It's not that we live in a glass house and judge Tiger for his cheating in a way we never would - we hear that voicemail and read those texts and think of him bleeding, running away from his wife and think "shit - he ain't Tiger, he's me."

And being us ain't worth being for a man with as many options as Tiger Woods has. 

Me, I don't care about any of that.  Tiger's the Athlete of the Decade.  Not a single text message he could ever send that would change that.  He can run through the entire VH-1 stable of reality shows; he can bang Antonio Sabato's ex-wife and Lorenzo Lamas's daughter and the Kardaashian sister they keep doped up on thorazine and locked in the basement.  Wouldn't change the way I thought about him at all.  Tiger's not my husband or my babysitter.  He's the Athlete of the Decade.  That's plenty.